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Europe’s best camping spots that are off the beaten path

If you’re looking for a truly unique camping experience, you’ll want to check out some of these hidden gems in Europe. From secluded mountain retreats to idyllic coastal spots, these locations offer everything you need for a relaxing and memorable trip. So, if you’re ready to explore some of Europe’s best kept camping secrets, read on!

Norway’s Lofoten Islands

Camping in Norway's Lofoten Islands

Camping in Norway’s Lofoten Islands

If you’re looking for breathtaking scenery and incredible hiking opportunities, the Lofoten Islands in Norway are the perfect place for you. This archipelago is known for its dramatic landscapes, with towering mountains, pristine lakes, and picturesque coastline. There are also plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife, including seals, eagles, and even whales.

Italy’s Cinque Terre

Discover Italy's Cinque Terre while camping in Europe

Discover Italy’s Cinque Terre while camping in Europe

The Cinque Terre is a stunning stretch of coastline in Italy that is made up of five picturesque villages. This is the perfect spot for a relaxing camping trip, as you can spend your days swimming in the crystal-clear waters, exploring the charming villages, and indulging in delicious Italian cuisine.

The Isle of Skye in Scotland

The stunning landscape of Isle of Skye - best discovered by camping

The stunning landscape of Isle of Skye – best discovered by camping

The Isle of Skye is one of Scotland’s most scenic and popular tourist destinations. With its rugged coastline, towering mountains, and lush green landscapes, it’s easy to see why. There are also plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and kayaking. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some dolphins or whales offshore.

Slovenia’s Lake Bled

Gorgeous Lake Bled is the perfect place to go camping in Europe

Gorgeous Lake Bled is the perfect place to go camping in Europe

Lake Bled is a beautiful glacial lake in Slovenia that is surrounded by forests and mountains. It’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy some peace and quiet. There are also plenty of activities to keep you busy, such as hiking, swimming, boating, and horseback riding.

Why you should go camping in Europe

If you love spending time outdoors and enjoying nature, then camping in Europe is definitely for you. The continent is home to some of the most beautiful camping spots in the world, and there are plenty of hidden gems to be discovered. Here are just a few reasons why you should go camping in Europe:

  1. There are so many different types of scenery to explore. Whether you want to camp in the mountains, by the sea, or in a forest, Europe has it all. And with so many different countries to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for your next camping adventure.
  2. You can find campsites that suit all budgets. Whether you’re looking for a luxury camping experience or something more basic, there are plenty of options available across Europe. There are also a number of free campsites if you’re on a tight budget.
  3. The weather is usually pretty good. Of course, the weather can never be guaranteed but in general, the climate in Europe is ideal for camping. In the summer months, you can enjoy long days and warm nights, perfect for spending time outside. And in the winter, there are plenty of opportunities for winter camping if that’s what you’re after.
  4. There’s a huge range of activities on offer. From hiking and cycling to swimming and fishing, there’s no shortage of things to do when camping in Europe. And with so much natural beauty to explore, you’ll never get bored.
  5. You can meet new people and make lifelong friends. One of the best things about camping is the sense of community that comes with it. You’ll meet like-minded people from all over the world and form friendships that will last a lifetime.

The best time to go camping in Europe

In Europe the climate can vary a lot from country to country so the best time to go camping here will depend a lot on your destination.

For example, in Spain, the best time to go camping is in the springtime. The weather is perfect for spending time outdoors, and the flowers are in bloom. Camping in the Pyrenees is a must-do for any nature lover.

In Italy, it is ideal to go camping in autumn. The weather is still warm enough to enjoy the outdoors, but the crowds have thinned out since summer. Plus, you’ll get to see the leaves changing color in all of their autumnal glory.

In Norway, it is much better to go camping in summer. The days are long and there’s plenty of daylight to enjoy all that Norway has to offer.

Summer is the best time to go camping in Norway

Summer is the best time to go camping in Norway

No matter what time of year you choose to go camping in Europe, you’re sure to have an incredible experience. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!

How to plan a camping trip in Europe

Make sure to pack everything you need – and then some!

No matter where you’re camping in Europe, it’s always a good idea to come prepared. This means packing all of the essentials like a tent, sleeping bag, food, and water, as well as some extra items just in case. A first-aid kit, flashlight, and multi-purpose tool are always a good idea, and don’t forget any medications you might need.

Choose your campsite carefully

When it comes to camping in Europe, not all campsites are created equal. Do your research in advance to find a spot that suits your needs, whether that’s close to hiking trails or near a lake for swimming. You’ll also want to make sure the campsite has all the amenities you need, such as toilets and showers.

Hire a campervan

If you’re planning on doing a lot of camping, it might be worth hiring a campervan. To do find a suitable campervan to rent out, it can be useful to consult online booking and price comparison sites such as www.campstar.com.

Hiring a campervan will allow you to have your own space and all the amenities you need while still being able to explore different parts of Europe. Just make sure you’re aware of the restrictions on where you can park.

Be respectful of nature

This one goes without saying, but it’s important to remember that you’re camping in nature and should treat it with respect. This means leaving no trace behind when you leave, picking up any litter you see, and being considerate of other campers

Don’t make these mistakes when camping in Europe

  1. Don’t forget to pack your passport! While most European countries are part of the Schengen Area and don’t require passports for travel, there are a few exceptions.
  2. Don’t forget to research the local laws and customs before you go camping. In some countries, like Germany, there are strict rules about where you can and can’t camp.
  3. Don’t forget your travel insurance! This is especially important if you’re going to be camping in a remote or wilderness area.
  4. Don’t leave your trash behind. Remember to take all your trash with you when you leave, and to leave no trace of your stay.

Camping in Europe: An experience you’ll never forget…

Camping in Europe is a great way to explore the continent and collect unforgettable memories. You will discover new cultures and meet new people while enjoying the great outdoors and nature. All in all, camping in Europe is an experience you’ll never forget!

 

Europe's Best-Kept Camping Secrets

Pin Europe’s Best-Kept Camping Secrets

The French Alps are spectacular at any time of the year and the region is fantastic for tourists who want to ski, relax, or just take in the incredible scenery. As the largest mountain range in Europe, the Alps spans an impressive 750 miles and borders eight countries: France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Germany, and Slovenia. When it comes to holidaying in the French Alps, there are lots of things for visitors to see and do. Here are our picks of the best things to do in the French Alps.

Sightsee in Haute-Savoie

Like a lot of tourist spots in the French Alps, this region in the east of France has many resorts for skiing and snowboarding. But there is a lot more to Haute-Savoie than just winter sports.

Aiguille du Midi offers awe-inspiring panoramic views and is home to the mountaineering capital of Chamonix. As well as breathtaking mountain views, Chamonix has Europe’s highest cable car.

View of Chamonix Valley from La Flegere

View of Chamonix Valley from La Flégère in the French Alps

For visitors interested in art and culture, Flaine is a resort to the north of the region that features open-air sculptures by Pablo Picasso and Jean Dubuffet.

To the southeast is the picturesque town of Annecy, which looks straight out of a chocolate box. This pretty little town, considered to be the Alps’ own  ‘Little Venice’ overlooks Lake Annecy and the Thiou River and is famous for its canals, cobbled streets, and pastel-coloured buildings. There is also an art and natural history museum in the Chateau d’Annecy, the historic home of Genevan counts.

Annency - the Venice of the Alps

Annency – the Venice of the Alps

Ski in Tignes

You can’t visit the French Alps and not try skiing at least once. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or a complete beginner, our top pick of the pistes is Tignes. This high-altitude commune in the Tarentaise Valley of the French Alps is situated near the Italian border and boasts the longest ski season in Europe.

Tignes consists of a collection of little villages, all varying in what they offer in terms of skiing facilities. Whilst the rough terrain further up the resort valley is more suited to experienced skiers, the main town has lots of options for beginners and those of intermediate level.

A Tignes resort town nestled in the stunning French Alps

A Tignes resort town nestled in the stunning French Alps

There are easier runs further down the valley towards Tignes-Les-Brevieres and the area benefits from the installation of chair lifts and good ease of access links.

However, before you book a resort in the area, it’s a good idea to have a good look at a Tignes piste map to establish exactly where in the valley is most suited to your skiing skills.

Regardless of where you go in Tignes though, there’s one thing you can certainly be sure of – there is lots to keep you entertained after a long day on the slopes. Tignes has some of the best après-ski nightlife in the Alps, with its lively bars and clubs, many of which are open until the early hours.

Relax at the Lakes

If you need some relaxation after a day on the pistes, or you just want to be pampered, then the French Alps are abundant with spas and thermal pools.

Lake Geneva, which borders France and Switzerland, has some of the most serene and luxury spas to indulge in. On the shores of this stunning lake is the spa town of Evian-les-Bains, which is world-famous for its natural springs of mineral water.

View of Lake Geneva from the Lavaux

View of Lake Geneva from the Lavaux

Just over the Swiss border is Leukerbad, another spa town renowned for its hot springs. The history of Leukerbad’s springs and their therapeutic effect on the body dates back to Roman times. Today, the town’s mineral waters are enjoyed in public baths, private spa hotels, wellbeing and rehabilitation centres, and more.

Enjoy the thermal pools of Leukerbad nestled in the Alps

Enjoy the thermal pools of Leukerbad nestled in the Alps

Conclusion

With its striking scenery, ski slopes, picturesque towns, and therapeutic thermal springs, there are so many things to do in the French Alps. If you’re taking a holiday there, be sure to check out the places we’ve recommended.

Best things to do in the French Alps

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Are you planning your first European backpacking travel adventure? Packing for a trip can be exciting but stressful, especially if you don’t know what to bring. Whether you’re going for a week or for an entire summer, there are a few backpacking Europe essentials for your packing list. To help you get started, take a look at our backpacking Europe checklist, which will ensure you have everything you need for your trip. 

1. The Right Backpack

The right backpacking can make or break your trip. A backpack that’s too big can make traveling uncomfortable, while a backpack that’s too small won’t allow you to fit all your belongings in it. 

When backpacking Europe, you won’t want to bring a large, rolling suitcase. European cities were built before the age of elevators, which means that you’ll be walking lots of stairs. When navigating the metro, the old buildings, and the hotels, you’ll be happy to be able to take the stairs instead of lugging around an unwieldy backpack.

When it comes to essentials for your backpacking Europe packing list, it’s best to bring a carry-on sized backpack to avoid baggage fees on budget airlines.

Backpacking backpacks come in sizes based on the liter volume that they can carry. A 30-40 liter bag is comparable to a carry-on size suitcase, while a bag that’s 50-65 liters will be too big to take with you as a carry on.

Make sure you choose a bag that fits comfortably on your body. If you’re visiting a store, the employees will be more than happy to help you select a few bags that are suited to your body size. 

If you’re looking for the best backpack for backpacking Europe, the Osprey brand has some great all-rounder backpacks. Osprey is the go-to essential Europe backpacking option and fits most people comfortably. 

2. Day bag

When you’re taking a day trip or going on a hike, you won’t want to bring your huge backpack with you. Leave most of your items locked safely at your accommodation and take along a day bag. Your best bet would be to purchase a foldable daypack that can fit into your bigger backpack.

It will need to fit essentials such as money, a snack, water, and maybe a change of clothes, so it shouldn’t be too big or bulky.

3. Padlocks

Padlocks are a quick, convenient, and inexpensive way to secure your bags and hostel lockers. When assembling your backpacking Europe essentials for your packing list, a small item like this can be a lifesaver! You can also use your luggage lock on your backpack during travel days, ensuring all your belongings are safe, including your passport.

4. Universal travel adapter

Your Europe backpacking packing list should include a universal travel adapter, which will work for your phone charger or any other electronic devices. 

The outlets in continental Europe use the same 2-pronged plug, but if you’re traveling in the UK and Ireland, you’ll need a different 3-pronged system. Rather than taking multiple chargers with you, a multifunctional adapter will do. 

5. Camera

The best travel camera for backpacking europe

Your phone camera is sufficient for everyday life, but backpacking around the world is an incredible experience that you will never want to forget!

Your travel photos will prove invaluable once you return from your epic journey, so be sure to capture all the incredible things you encounter along the way. Bring a camera that not only takes great pictures but also fits easily into your backpack.

These days, the majority of cameras are equipped with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi capabilities, so they can be transmitted easily to your laptop or phone to post them online.

You may wish to bring a high-tech DSLR camera to take stunning photographs. For some, a more compact point-and-shoot camera will suffice, and will fit in a day pack without taking up much space.

If you want to take your backpacking adventures to the next level, then consider bringing along a GoPro, which will accompany you everywhere from underwater adventures to skydiving during your European backpacking adventures.

6. Travel towel

Your essential backpacking Europe packing list should include a quick-drying travel towel, since you will be moving from hostel to hostel as you backpack between cities. My favorite travel towel is a Turkish towel which is quick to dry and easy to fit in your backpack. You can also use the towel as a privacy screen if you secure a bottom bunk in a hostel.

7. Power Bank

A power bank is one of the essentials on my backpacking Europe packing list, for multiple reasons. While traveling, you’ll be using your phone much more than normal – for navigation, taking photos, videos, or researching travel tips. On days like this, you’ll want to have a backup battery for your phone. 

I’ve also relied on my power bank during long travel journeys when I use my phone and want to make sure I have enough juice to find my way to the next destination.

8. Change purse

Reliance on physical money is surprisingly still pretty high throughout Europe. Plus, having lots of €1 and €2 Euro coins is a good idea if you want to leave behind tips or donate to street musicians that you’ll see on your trip. 

9. The right shoes

For your backpacking Europe packing list, don’t forget to throw in a pair of rubber sandals for the hostel showers. You should also bring a pair of comfortable but stylish walking shoes. Some nightlife spots will require a certain dress code, but you can get away with leather-style sneakers. And women can get away with stylish looking flats that are secretly super comfortable.

10. Hostel survival kit

If you’ll be staying in hostels, don’t forget these 4 backpacking Europe essentials. We call it the hostel survival kit:

11. The Best Apps for Backpacking Europe

The Best Apps for Backpacking Europe

And lastly, before heading off for your European backpacking adventure, you should load up your phone with a few essential apps that will make backpacking Europe a breeze.

Apps to book transportation from place to place

Given the relatively compact size of Europe, you can travel between major cities by train or bus. There are a few useful apps for European transportation that can help make sure you find the best deal while sticking to your schedule.

  • Omio – compare trains, buses, and flight options in Europe and travel using mobile tickets
  • Trainline – a popular app in the UK to find train and bus tickets 
  • Flixbus – a long-distance bus company that is a favorite mode of travel for budget backpackers
  • Kiwi – a flight search comparison site that helps you find the lowest prices
  • Skyscanner – another classic flight search website that has powerful flexible search options

Apps for Finding Accommodation in Europe

Apps to book discounted activities and Skip the Line tickets

Apps to stay in touch with friends and family back home

If you don’t want to change to an international mobile plan, you can use these apps over free public WiFi to stay in touch with people back home.

We’ve all heard of the top wine destinations like Napa Valley, Bordeaux, and Tuscany, which are on the bucket list for many wine connoisseurs, but there are plenty of wine regions around the globe that are more off the beaten path. And where there is good wine, there is warm weather and great food pairings, a recipe for a perfect vacation. Here are the top romantic wine destination ideas suitable for a getaway on all budgets.

1. Napa Valley, California

Napa Valley California, one of the most romantic wine destinations in the world

Napa Valley, one of the most famous romantic wine destinations in the world, offers lush-green vineyards and stunning views. Napa Valley is home to hundreds of wineries along the hillsides and is home to famous wine varietals like California Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

Some of the most famous vineyards in Napa Valley include Castello di Amorosa, Spottswoode, and Inglenook Winery, where you can sample your share of the Napa red blend wine and satiate the budding sommelier within. If you’re fond of robust red wines or crisp sparkling wines, you must book a wine tour in the Napa Valley region.

While visiting Napa, you can even hop on board the Napa Valley Wine Train, which allows you to make stops at the best Napa wineries without worrying about transportation.

2. Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico

Another one of the top wine destination ideas on North America’s West Coast is Valle De Guadalupe in Mexico. With over a hundred wineries and multiple wines to choose from, the wine region is quite popular among wine lovers.

You can book a wine tour in the area and learn about high-quality wine-making procedures. The diverse wine grape varieties to try in this region are Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Syrah, and Vermentino.

At famous wineries, you are likely to experience multi-course meals with farm-to-table serving methods. Be sure to pre-book your wine tours for the best experience on an affordable budget. 

3. Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux, France, one of the most romantic wine destinations in the world

Every amateur sommelier wishes to learn about the art of wine-making and the history behind every bottle. If you want to visit the heart of the French wine country, you may choose a wine tour in Bordeaux.

With romantic vineyards and calm surroundings, the place is a haven for wine enthusiasts. While visiting the famous wine region, you should save time to explore the popular attractions in Bordeaux city like Basilique Saint-Michel, Musée des Beaux-Arts, and Musée d’Aquitaine.

4. Tuscany, Italy

If your idea of perfection is a warm evening, a glass of wine, and a stunning sunset over rolling hills, you should plan a trip to the Tuscany wine region in Italy.

The grapevines in this region have been cultivated for over 3000 years, and the native varietals like Sangiovese and Chianti are still produced with a nod to ancient traditions. From day one, you’ll be immersed in the romantic Italian lifestyle with its vintage vibe and its focus on the small pleasures of day-to-day life.

Some popular wineries famous for authentic tasting experiences are Fattoria del Colle – Cantine, and Azienda Agricola Capanna di Cencioni. Once you’ve had your share of countryside life, you can head to nearby famous sights like Florence, Cinque Terre, and Pisa’s Leaning Tower. 

5. Piedmont, Virginia

Deep in the heart of Thomas Jefferson’s former home on the east coast, Piedmont, Virginia now offers the perfect wine getaway to the tourists. The region is home to more than 30 authentic wineries amid the river valleys and rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

You can grab your share of local wines like Grignolino and Pelaverga and spend relaxing evenings with your loved ones. Some of the best wineries to explore in the region are Abellonio Cascina Piccaluga and Cinque Terre Wine. Make sure to enjoy a glass of Barolo at the majestic Isola Bella to round out your wine vacation in Virginia. 

6. Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina

The basic requirements for a top wine destination are authentic wine-tasting experiences and breath-taking surroundings. One such destination is Uco Valley in the famous Mendoza wine region in Argentina.

If you wish to taste the native wines like Malbec, then you must book a tour in the Uco Valley, which is known for producing the best Malbec in the world. Some famous wineries to consider are Andeluna and Salentein, where you can taste different styles of wine and take a tour of the facilities.

If you’re up for an outdoor adventure, you can embark on the hiking trail to the popular Aconcagua peak where you’ll enjoy stunning views of the entire Mendoza region.

7. Tenerife, Spain

Tenerife, Spain is famous for delicious wines and stunning views

Spain is well known for its stunning architecture, tapas, and vibrant culture. But if you’re looking for something more off the beaten path, you might consider a trip to the wine-making region on the island of Tenerife.

Tenerife is part of the Canary Islands located off the coast of Morocco, but as an official part of Spain, there are frequent flight connections from all major Spanish cities. Tenerife offers local wine varieties like Listán Blanco for the whites and Listán Negro and Tempranillo for the red wine lovers.

Also, you can enjoy your drink amidst the serene island locations like Costa Adeje and Puerto de la Cruz. For a vacation that’s out of the ordinary, plan your next wine getaway to this Spanish island famous for its wines and turquoise waters. 

Planning your Next Romantic Wine Destination

If you’re a wine lover, you may want to plan your next getaway to one of the many top wine destination ideas around the world. Lucky for wine-lovers, the best vines are found in sunny locations with great weather, making them a perfect place for a long vacation.

Whether you choose a world-famous wine destination like Tuscany, Mendoza, or Napa Valley, or want to get more off the beaten path in Valle De Guadalupe or Piedmont, there are countless places on earth where you can sample top-notch wines amidst stunning landscapes.

The romantic charm of rolling vineyards and the luxury of fine wines make a wine vacation a great option, whether you’re traveling with a partner or a group of friends. Cheers!

Are you currently dreaming of your next travel escapade? With talks of the travel industry starting up again in June, it’s finally time to start planning your next adventure. From June onwards can be expensive, so your best bet for an affordable adventure is to travel in September. 

The great thing about September is that plenty of countries are still getting a lot of sun with the added benefit of fewer tourists. If you are stuck for destination inspiration, take a look at our guide on where to travel in September, whether you’re into skiing or sunbathing. 

Aruba

Aruba is a great place to visit in September

Aruba is one of the best and most beautiful places to visit if you’re looking for a mixture of relaxation and adventure. Especially in September when temperatures are just right for exploring and lounging.

This Southern Caribbean island is known for its stunning white-sand beaches and natural wonders, favoured by archaeology enthusiasts and snorkelers alike. If you want to explore historical sites by day and let loose at night, then Aruba’s capital Oranjestad is a good place to stay. 

However, if you prefer a more low-key vacation, you should consider visiting Andicuri Beach, which offers the perfect off-the-track tropical location. 

Canada

A complete contrast to Aruba is the equally stunning Canada, where you won’t catch the best tan, but you will definitely find some sights to remember – maybe even a bear or two. In fact, September is the ideal time to visit, as this is the peak month for salmon, forcing bears out of hibernation. You can even stay at a bear-watching lodge in British Columbia, where you can spot the local inhabitants from the safety of cosy accommodation. 

Visit Canada in September for prime grizzly-watching season

During September, you can enjoy the landscape transition from green to golden in the Rockies, which will make your hiking trip extra special. You can also explore additional trails and lakes without the worry of excessive rainfall or even snow, making your journey safer and warmer. 

Italy

If you live in the UK and wondering where to travel in September without the hassle of a long flight, why not consider Italy, which typically takes less than three hours? You also don’t need a visa to travel to Italy for more than 90 days if you’re a UK citizen, so you can explore plenty of locations within this time. 

September weather is also perfect in Italy, especially if visiting places like Rome, which can be overbearing in the peak of summer with scorching temperatures and large crowds. This will make your sightseeing experience much more enjoyable. If you’re looking to get off the beaten path, explore our top pics for the best hidden gems in Italy.

San Gimignano - one of Italy’s hidden gems

There are also plenty of September harvest festivals where you can enjoy plenty of great food and wine, of course. Venice also hosts the Regata Storica on the first Sunday in September, a boat racing festival that should definitely be on your bucket list.


So, where will your next adventure be? Snorkelling in crystal blue waters, hiking in the Rockies, or enjoying Roman ruins? If you still haven’t decided where to travel in September, why not look at our country guides for backpackers